Q&A

Char­lotte Gan­non, fam­ily law solic­i­tor at Leeds-based Blacks Solic­i­tors.

Yorkshire Post - Business - - NEWS -

What’s the big­gest de­vel­op­ment you’ve seen in the le­gal world dur­ing your ca­reer?

The in­tro­duc­tion of the Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies Act 2014 and the Child Ar­range­ments Pro­gramme specif­i­cally in re­la­tion to pri­vate chil­dren law cases, which is an area I have a keen in­ter­est in. This re­formed the court process, put em­pha­sis on out of court dis­pute res­o­lu­tion and al­tered the ter­mi­nol­ogy within pro­ceed­ings. In the pro­fes­sion we ex­pe­ri­enced the changes on a very prac­ti­cal level. There was also the in­tro­duc­tion of the ‘pre­sump­tion of parental in­volve­ment’, which states that un­less it is demon­strated oth­er­wise, the in­volve­ment of both par­ents in a child’s life will fur­ther that child’s wel­fare. This brought the law more in line with so­cial at­ti­tudes about the fam­ily unit.

What law would you like to see changed?

The law re­lat­ing to co­hab­itees. Theresa May has an­nounced civil part­ner­ships will be avail­able to het­ero­sex­ual cou­ples and whilst this gives cou­ples more op­tions, there is still in­ad­e­quate pro­tec­tion for those want­ing to re­main co­hab­itees.

What is the most ex­cit­ing work you’ve ever done?

As­sist­ing clients in re­la­tion to emer­gency ap­pli­ca­tions, of­ten aris­ing where there is a po­ten­tial risk of harm to a child. Per­haps de­scribed as chal­leng­ing rather than ex­cit­ing but I like be­ing able to pro­vide ur­gent sup­port and ad­vice in times when clients need us most.

Who in the le­gal world do you most ad­mire?

The Right Hon Baroness Hale who be­came the first fe­male Pres­i­dent of the Supreme Court. She’s had an in­spir­ing ca­reer and I ad­mire the way she uses her position to pro­mote di­ver­sity and equal­ity, both in the pro­fes­sion and in the law.

What ad­vice would you give some­one start­ing out in the pro­fes­sion?

Don’t be blink­ered. There are many dif­fer­ent paths you can take in the pro­fes­sion.

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